One of my most favorite game series ever is the Castlevania series. I’ve played almost all of them. As a matter of fact, I have some of the game music on my Halloween playlist: a few tracks from Lament of Innocence and a few from Curse of Darkness. The stories, sort of, dance around.
Still, it all started with a blocky, 8-bit hero named, Simon Belmont. For those who don’t know, or have never played, Simon’s role in the first few games of the series was to take out the king of all vampires and dark creatures, Dracula himself. Simon did this armed solely with his wits, his training, and a family heirloom: a whip called The Vampire Killer. I played the first games for months, maybe even years, before I was able to finish it: the last two bosses, Death and Dracula, respectively, being the most difficult.
What I’m going to talk to you about this week, though, isn’t Simon, but his grandfather, Trevor Belmont, who, alongside Dracula’s son, Alucard, defeated Dracula to save Europe. What, exactly, am I talking about? Well, I’m not talking about the Castlevania 3 game, but the new series that has just appeared on Netflix, called Castlevania, which, you may have guessed, is about Trevor and his holy quest to rid the countryside of Dracula’s darkness.
Unfortunately, the first season in this series features only four 25-minute, cartoon-like, animated episodes. At first, I wasn’t planning to watch the show. After seeing the trailer, I felt disappointed and thought it was too cartoonish to do the games justice. I wanted something more realistic, movie-like, with CGI monsters and actual actors.
However, the show surprised me. I was bored one afternoon and decided to check an episode out. Thankfully, it turns out that the creator of the show felt the same way I did, and was determined to make the show as good as the game. Now, having finished the season, in one sitting, (it only came out to about an hour and a half), I find myself drooling for the next season.
Trevor, voiced by Richard Armitage, is, actually, a very likable character, at least, from my point of view. He’s strong, and he doesn’t take crap from anyone, but he has real-life problems, such as the fact that the people of Wallachia have a big problem with his family. Basically, he wanders through towns looking for his next drink and pushing people away. The first season seems to be about Trevor finding his purpose.
As hard as it may be to believe, I also sympathized with Dracula, voiced by Graham McTavish, and his plight, as Dracula’s grief at the murder of his wife propels him to unleash a curse on the townspeople of Wallachia. This little tidbit happens in the first two minutes of the show. Many would assume that the story is black and white, in that Dracula is evil and simply must be stopped.
However, this is only half of the truth, as the townspeople as far from innocent in this story, which adds a third element to the story. It is quite the flip: rarely does the viewer sympathize with the “villain” while despising the “innocents”.
It is a truly masterful series. The only problem is that it was entirely too short. I want more. There’s good news, though: Netflix has agreed to another season, which will feature twice the amount of episodes, and is supposed to be released some time next summer. I can’t wait! See you then!